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Hardball With Chris Matthews

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Obama 16, Us 8, Bob 7, Massachusetts 5, Richard Carmona 5, Romney 5, Arizona 4, America 4, Pennsylvania 4, Nixon 4, Vietnam 3, Michigan 3, Florida 3, Mitt Romney 3, Pbs 3, Carmona 3, Franklin Roosevelt 2, Jon Stewart 2, Campbell 2, Joe Biden 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.   
   (2012) New. (CC)  

    October 9, 2012
    2:00 - 3:00pm PDT  

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electorate, but if you believe that, then you probably believe that he ran his first and only marathon in under three hours. thanks so much for watching. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. time to attack. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening everyone. i'm chris matthews from washington. let me start tonight with this. attack. a month now stands between here and election. four weeks to sell the country on the difference between obama and romney on the big issues of our times. time to attack. time to remind voters who rode to the rescue -- who did ride to the rescue of the american auto industry and who stood out there telling it to go bankrupt. time to attack. which candidate fought to get equal pay for equal work for women so no girl in america will ever grow up thinking her time, her sweat is worth less than a
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boy's? time to attack. which candidate saw 40 million people uninsured americans dragging themselves to sit for hours in emergency rooms across the country? he saw it, obama did, and refused to let it stay that way through yet another presidency. mitt romney saw the way things were and said he wants to keep things that way. if you don't have shoorns, tough. go get a seat with the other victims and moochers. well, this is where romney's vulnerable, where obama can come charging from his ground of strength. now is the time. romney taken to task for his positions so far from the american mainstream. i'm joined by democrat strategist bob shrum and former chair of the rnc michael steele. as i said it's time for president obama to attack. ♪ and we hear it. >> and we're off. >> that is a little bit too jim cramer for some of you perhaps but it is, in fact, my feeling. there comes a time, it's called attack from a defensive position. the president has been attacked. i think it's time to return the
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favor to romney. your thoughts this week. >> it's what he had to do in the debate, didn't do, and it's what he has to do every day between now and the next debate. he has to draw the contrast on medicare and straighten out this myth that the president cut $716 million from medicare benefits. he didn't. they're cut from medicare providers like insurance companies that are overcharging. he has to attack on the issue of taxes. there aren't enough tax loopholes or tax deductions to pay for romney's tax cut unless you cut into home interest mortgage deductions, unless you get rid of state and local taxes. that will hit the middle class hard. you have to be honest about this. the debate hurt obama and helped romney, and romney's gotten a bump in the polls, although it seems to be flattening out. you look at the new poll in ohio, the president is at 51%, ronl is at 47%. i think the president, the fundamental structure of the race hasn't been changed, but if he doesn't go on the attack, if biden doesn't do a good job against ryan, and if the president doesn't show up and isn't strong in the second
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debate, then you're going to have a tossup race. >> well, i would disagree with your approach, first of all. i don't approach that way. that's going back and relate gating all the old arguments. in spirit what i would do unlike shrumy, i would take the big issue that is separate the candidates, don't get into the little trench warfare about what's your tax plan and where were you on medicare two weeks ago. i would say where did you stand on saving the american auto industry. you had one position, i had another position. where are you on equal pay? republicans are against equal pay by law. these are big differences. don't talk about big bird one more time. >> please don't talk about big bird. leave the bird alone. the fact of the -- >> the bird is already dead. >> okay. >> shrum. but i actually agree with you on this one, chris. i think absolutely. i have been saying for a long, long time for the romney team to go big, to put the bigger argument in play here, and i think -- >> he did that last week. it's time for obama to do it. >> that's exactly what he did.
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and so ynow is the time for the obama team to come to the table. show me how big -- >> i think there are big differences about women's rights, big difference about the role of government in saving american -- that's my point. come back on me if i'm wrong. i don't think arguing about medicare dos and don'ts and what's in and what's out -- he'll always win that. you know why? he's willing to say anything, romney, anything in a debate. how do you beat a guy who is willing to say anything, who knows it only matters when the camera is off. when he sends out a staffer to correct the record. nobody is watching. that's what he likes. >> i don't disagree with you about the auto industry as an issue. i don't disagree with you about women's rights as an issue and equal pay, about you you can't walk away from the medicare issue and you can't let romney say that he's the guy who is going to protect medicare when he's, in fact, going to turn it into voucher care. senior citizens, especially in states like florida, pennsylvania, you know this, ohio, are going to be a big part of this electorate. they want to understand what's happening there. because the president didn't
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respond on medicare in the debate with any force, his advantage -- >> but you can't -- >> his advantage among seniors on the issue of medicare has shrunk. he's got to get that back, argue the issues you're arguing, but it's all got to be in a big context which is who stands up for the middle class, who fights for the middle class, and who favors -- >> i want a big debate, too. i think on that point, bob, it has shrunk because seniors know and i think the campaign -- the romney campaign has been effective as defining it's not them, he is talking about their grandchildren and -- >> no, no, people 555 and younger. >> that's incorrect. that's where they have to fight back. if every senior will pay $600 more a year for prescription drugs under romney's plan. every senior -- today's seniors, $600 a more. >> that's what you're talking about. let's get this straight. it's not about the grand kids. the romney plan is for people 55 and you under --
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>> it's giving them the option for something -- >> it will destroy medicare. >> no, it won't. >> this is fascinating stuff. they have been showing for months evenly divided here into two. the registered voters and the likely voters. now they're doing both. among registered voters president obama has a three-point lead over mitt romney. 49%, 46% among registered. but among likely voters romney is leading by two points. if you look at the trend line of recent polling, you can see that obama in the blue line really picked up in september following his convention. we all saw that happen but he dropped and romney started gaining in the past several days following the debate. and as you just mentioned, bob, from ohio the president's firewall, a new cnn/opinion research poll shows obama up by four, 51%/47% among likely voters. that poll was taken after the debate -- actually after the debate. before the debate obama had a wider margin. i should point out something i learned today which i think you
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guys probably already know. a like lib voter as opposed to a registered voter who is a registered voter when asked from one to ten are you likely to vod, nine or ten. second question did you vote in 2010 or 2008, if you say yes to either of those three -- two out of those three, you are considered a likely voter. >> that's right. >> if you just voted in '08 and '10, that's good enough. if you voted in '08 but you say your chances are 9 to 10 -- between 1 and 10, then you're a likely voter. what do you think of that? what do you think of the likely voter setup? do you think it's more accurate than registered voter? >> i think we don't always know the likely voter sample for example in 2008 overestimated obama's victory. it would have been closer if they had gone with the registered voters. not all registered voters are going to vote. what i was going to say about these polls is that we have to wait and see more reliable polls out of the battleground states taken by nbc, taken by abc,
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taken by "the wall street journal," taken by maris, and we're going to have a much better idea of where we are. the other -- >> so you say it's going to be a really close race so it's really going to come down to the electoral college, not going to be wide enough in popular vote to blow it away. >> i think the president could win more comfortably in the electoral college than he does in the popular vote but he has to do well in this debate. the other thing that's going to matter here is the ground operation in the battleground states. i think the obama campaign has invested a huge amount in that and we'll see how effective it is. >> let's talk about the man -- i have been using the term, the alternate cavalry leader bill clinton. i was young enough to remember what it was like when ike came into the campaign for nixon and almost won it for nixon. ike was still the guy who won world war ii in europe and he comes in, i hope we have the pictures, these crowds he would get. new york city, a million people in what's considered a democratic state even then. a million people in downtown new
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york came out for nixon and lodge. these pictures are unbelievable what eisenhower was able -- can bill clinton do that in the important states of pennsylvania, ohio, florida, virginia? >> i think he can. i really do. i think clinton still has the magic with a lot of voters out there across the spectrum. it's not just in the democrat camp. there are a lot of independent voters and some republicans who admire what he did -- >> because he did the economy. >> what he did with the economy. so i think this particular clinton card is being played very judiciously by the campaign. they're going to put him out there even more so. i think it's smart. >> now, if you were romney, would you do the same thing with george w.? would you bring him into the big swing states and have giant rallies with you and george w.? would you do that. i'm just teasing. >> i don't see george bush as an anathema. >> would you bring him out for the big rallies in columbus. >> the president probably doesn't want to participate in this campaign. but there are some spots in town he could probably help. >> how would you like w. out
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there campaigning for the other guy. >> i strongly recommend to romney that he campaign everywhere with george w. bush. if you look at all the data, people still blame by a margin of two to one the economic problems in this country on bush. so i think -- and the other thing, by the way, it would open up for the president is the very clear case that if you didn't like the bush/cheney years, you wouldn't like the romney years because he has the same policies and the same advisers. >> but the difference is that the obama years haven't improved that much now, have they? >> the obama years are pretty -- we didn't go into a great depression -- >> this is what voters are deciding. it was worse under w. but it's not good enough better -- you didn't clean up the bush mess welloff. thank you. that's the argument. you would think the obama campaign would want to start looking forward toward the vp debate this week and the two remaining presidential debates. today the obama camp released this ad going back to romney's line about big bird. this i think is mickey mouse but let's take a look. >> bernie madoff, ken lay,
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dennis kozlowski, criminals, gluttons of greed and the evil genius who towered over them. one man has the guts to speak his name. >> big bird, big bird, big bird. >> it's me, big bird. >> big, yellow, a menace to our economy. mitt romney knows it's not wall street you have to worry about, it's sesame street. >> i'm going to stop this subsidy to pbs. >> mitt romney taking oun our enemies no malter where they nest. >> please, god, just for a minute, shrumy, and you too, michael, be independent minded and answer this question. is that the right way to go in this crucial last month to be focusing on big bird? >> no, it's not. no, it's not, number one. number two, they're not broadcasting that ad in the battleground states at any heavy level. number three, they shouldn't. number four, we should be talking about who is going to save medicare not who is going to save big bird. >> well said. michael, i can't say it better. >> bob, one of the few times i will say ditto. >> okay. and the only caveat i offer here
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is that there is a way through really good sarcasm to make fun of the other side. franklin roosevelt, bob and i are experts at this, the franklin roosevelt speech he gave at the teamsters convention in 1944 about the republicans making fun of getting his dog a right on a ship somewhere turned the republicans into fools and that won him the election. sam roseman wrote that speech. it was a killer. this isn't being done as well. big bird is going to survive this mess i think. thank you, bob shrum and thank you michael steele for that second or two of nonpartisan observation. coming up, i'm asking moderate mitt romney, you know, it was a classic etch-a-sketch in wednesday's debate last week, when is president obama going to stop talking about big bird and go after the guy himself? that's the candidate. also, the war in the west. senate race in north dakota, montana, nevada, and arizona, believe it or not arizona, now tossups. the democrat making a surprising
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run. richard carmona here on hardball. he's a vietnam vet and quite a candidate. jon stewart takes on the new phrase you have heard of the truthers, the birthers, now we have the jobbers, those right leaning conservatives conspiracy theorists who say the unemployment numbers were cooked in obama's headquarters. >> i got to say if you're cooking the books, 7.8% unemployment is [ bleep ] recipe. it's like the radish stew of jobless numbers. >> you can cut them a little lower. let me finish with the real differences between these candidates, and they're a lot bigger than big bird. this is "hardball," the place for politics. ♪ i'd like to thank eating right, whole grain, multigrain cheerios! mom, are those my jeans? [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multigrain cheerios
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we've got some new polling from some key senate races. in massachusetts, scott brown has jumped back in front of elizabeth warren in a new poll. it's now brown by three. 48%, 45%. that keeps juggling. in north dakota a seat that
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looked to be a sure republican pickup is now a dead heat. former ag out there heidi heitkamp is tied with rick berg. in pennsylvania democratic senator bob casey is up nine over his republican challenger in the you? siena poll, 35% to 44%. a lot of extra possibilities there. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] feeling like a shadow of your former self? c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows.
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welcome back to "hardball." pill litco has a striking story about the so-called romney rebellion. as politico put it ann romy and sontag performed an intervention on mitt trying to put an emphasis on his softer and more moderate image. the softer image was oun full display last week in denver. there's a difference between talking in more moderate ways and pledging to govern as a moderate. the mitt we saw last week in that debate was certainly working double time to etch-a-sketch away some of his positions. take a look.
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>> i will not reduce the share paid by hi-income individuals. well, the current rates less 20% so the top rate, for instance, would go from 35% to 28%. regulation is essentially. this president has enacted job-killing eggs lations. i will eliminate them. what we did in massachusetts is a model for the nation. >> did you say on camera and other places that at times you thought it would be a model for the nation. >> you're wrong, brad. >> no, no, there's tape -- >> no, the tape out there -- continue to read the tape and the tape goes on to say for each state to be able to look at it. >> okay. but don't be fooled by romney's new language, of course. if the president wants to hold onto his job, he better make the american people understand that the so-called moderate mitt is just a mirage for the occasion. does he have it in him to do it? ron reg sentence an msnbc political analyst and michelle goldberg is senior contributing writer for "newsweek" and the daily beast. thank you for joining us. i get pretty despondent when i think about the power of this
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medium television. if all you go by is what you watch and it's a good thing we all watch these debates, you really don't have the knowledge that you might need as a voter to know whether this syncs with what the guy stands for or it's merely a performance and i wonder whether if this guy, mr. romney, governor romney, is able to say something like, well, all pre-existing conditions will be covered and then have his guy go out later this night and tell a few people who read the newspapers, oh, it doesn't really cover you unless you're already covered which doesn't mean anything. your thoughts, ron. will television deceive. ? >> yes, it does deceive. candidates deceive. it's one of the most disturbing aspects of this campaign, particularly if romney would win. it would set a standard of dishonesty for all campaigns going forward that would be really hard to meet. going into the next debate, i have been listening to your discussions thus far today, and i agree with you you don't want obama to relitigate the last debate and i agree he has to attack romney the man. it's not about rearguing the
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medicare issue as such. it's about revealing the fact that romney has been all over the map on various issues, will say anything on a given day to get through the day, and he has to be unmasked that way. >> well, that's what i would do, michelle. the facts are that romney believes basically that the status quo on health care before president obama came along is fine with him, 40 million people sitting in emergency rooms for most of the day to get some kind of basic care. he does say things like i want the auto industry to go bankrupt. he does say -- or his party does and he supports them, let's not have a law that says you have to get equal pay for equal work if you're a woman. these seem to be pretty fundamental positions he's taken and yet in the debate because his family apparently told him to go softer he was able to mask them. >> and i feel for obama because as lackluster as his performance was, it's really hard to debate someone who is willing to make things up and kind of pull facts out of thin air. i'm not sure it's necessarily his job to refute all of this --
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>> whose job is it? >> his campaign's and the super pacs. i don't understand why there's not an ad on tv that uses that old quote of his about how inequality should only be spoken about in private rooms and then says, well, look at what romney says in private rooms. here is what he says in the debate which is the real romney? >> do you think moderators should play that role? i don't want to knock jim lehrer, he's a distinguished journalist but i have seen people like the late tim russert and people like bob schieffer, whenever they hear a complete nonsense statement from a politician on the sunday shows, they tend to go, now, just a minute. are you saying -- you can't believe that. that sort of general, ron, skepticism. you first, michelle. isn't it in order to stop him and say that's not been your position, sir. >> i understand the argument that he wants to be a kind of neutral arbiter, but, yes, absolutely. when you say, you know, flat out there is no tax cut for the
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wealthy in my plan or he says that kind of higher income people won't play any smaller of a share of the tax burden, when he's been saying on camera for more than a year now that he intends to reduce their rates to 20%, that he intends to reduce the inheritance tax, reduce capital gains -- >> it's called cut. >> it's pretty easy to just say how do you square this with your earlier statements. you don't even have to call him out for lying. that's a legitimate question. >> and there are -- >> your thoughts about the role of a moderator. how do we get truth out of an hour and a half debate when nobody comes in and says whoa? >> exactly. when mitt romney says, for instance, that half the companies or over half the companies that have received loans from the federal government, new alternative energy companies, have gone bankrupt when the real number is something like 5% which is probably better than bain capital's average, you would think the moderator would be familiar enough with the facts that he could stop him right there and simply point out that that is not true. you're not being -- you're not
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taking sides when you're taking sides with the truth. >> i think you can throw the flag once in a while, throw the flag. mitt romney tried to use his experience as governor of massachusetts as evidence of his bipartisan leanings. let's look at what he said. >> jim, i had the great experience, it didn't seem like it at the time, of being elected in a state where my legislature was 87% democrat. and that meant i figured out from day one i had to get along, and i had to work across the aisle to get anything done. >> well, of course, would romney be as motivated to work across the aisle if, for example, both the senate and the house nationally are republican controlled in that case he would likely be facing a lot of people thinking exactly the way ante tax crusader grover norquist summed it up. watch norquist in action. >> we are not auditioning for fearless leader. we don't need a president to tell us what direction to go. we know what direction we want to go. we want the paul ryan budget which cuts spending $6 trillion. the republicans in the house have passed 24-plus bills that
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create jobs and opportunity and strip out regulations. we just need a president to sign this stuff. and pick a republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the united states. >> you know, that's not an unfair shot. he basically believes he has those pledges in his pocket. he knows he can control fiscal policy in the congress with or without the new president. he's got romney's arms tied in the same way that the religion right has his arms tied on abortion rights, same-sex, the way the knee oepow cons have his arms tied in terms of foreign policy. >> one question either the moderate or obama should ask, name one issue in which you plan to puck your party, one issue in which you plan to stand up to house republicans, one issue in which you don't plan to govern as a severe conservative as you described your record in massachusetts before you were
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describing your record as a bipartisan bridge builder. >> would he come out with a sister souljah moment on request? >> that could request. were you a severe conservative or are you the reaching over the aisle -- across the aisle kind of guy? which is it? but you've got to -- as i said before, you have to go at romney the person. it's not romney's policies because those don't really exist. it's romney the man that he's -- >> i agree. that's what i'm working tonight. let's take a look at the a promise romney made at the delate last week about keeping his $5 trillion tax cut deficit -- new deficit neutral. no cost to the deficit and cutting $5 trillion mainly for the wealthy. let's watch. >> with regards to that tax cut, look, i'm not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the revenues going to the government. my number one principle is there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. i want to underline that. no tax cut that adds to the deficit. >> paul ryan just days before the debate last week directly
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contradicted romney. ryan said lowering the tax rates was more important than anything else, including getting rid of those deductions to pay for them supposedly. let's watch. >> what's most important to romney, what would he scale back on the 20% tax cut for the wealthy? would he scale back and say, okay, we're going to have to raise taxes for the middle class? i guess the question is what's most important to him in his tax reform plan -- >> keeping tax rates down. by lowering tax rates, people keep more of the next dollar they earn. >> that's more important -- >> that's more important than anything. >> in other words, it is, in fact, a tax cut. it's not a tax caught offset by deductions. it's to get the tax rates down from 35% to 38%. that's the goal he said. >> romney said something interesting in the debate where he basically said nobody can say that my tax cut is going to add to the deficit if i say it won't. well, in fact, everybody who has
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looked at the plan says it will add to the deficit. there isn't a single credible economist that thinks these numbers add up, and romney thus far has gotten away with not having to justify the numbers that don't add up. >> everybody wants something free. he's offering them that. cotton candy for the world. thank you. up next, the rogue's gallery of republicans who don't believe science. wait until you catch this science committee in the house and it's membership. this is "hardball," the place for politics. well, if it isn't mr. margin.
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mr. margin? don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know.
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and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
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. romney stopped at the tin fish restaurant in port st. lucie, florida, yesterday. he was posing for a group photo with the staff when one of the employees decided to help clean him up. this is nice, and then he's like -- oh, oh. okay. wait a minute now.
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and then he kind of uses his hand to tap, tap. okay, now we're going to push that out of the frame. by the way, where is the secret service when this is going on? >> back to "hardball," last month's jobs report showed the country's unemployment rate had dropped to 7.8%. instead of acknowledging the positive news, jack welch led a group of lesser lights saying the numbers must have been manipulated by the obama administration and that the unemployment rate couldn't really be below 8%. jon stewart weighed in. >> it's gotting to corrupt political manipulation of the official statistics. what else would explain why after unemployment has been steadily declining for the last year that now suddenly right before the election it declines a little more? please. >> a lot of people are saying that the government's cooking the books here. >> i'll tell you these guys are saying they feel like they cooked the books. >> look, i got to say, if you're cooking the books, 7.8% unemployment is at [ bleep ] recipe.
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it's like the radish stew of jobless numbers. if you're cooking, make a nice jambalaya, something nice for people. unemployment is 2.6%. >> enough said. with the election just weeks away positive news about the economy ignites desperation among angry republicans. last time i told but republican congressman paul brown, the member of the house science committee who called things like evolution and even the big bang theory lies from the pit of hell. are you curious to else is picking up the slack for broun on the science committee while he's out there spreading his "planet of the apes" world view? >> dana rohrabacher called global warming a complete fraud. quote, we don't know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. could be sign sauer flatulence or, you know, who knows. might be tricky to square that with broun's assertion that the
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either is only 9,000 years old. next it's ralph hall. in order to supporting legislation to cut finding for scientific research and education, hall said this about scientists who come before his committee to talk about the reality of climate change. quote, i think we ought to listen to them. i just don't think we ought to mind them. that's a theirer. their colleague jim sensenbrenner has called the idea of climate change an international conspiracy and science tisk fascism. heard enough? don't forget about todd akin. he has a slot on the science committee, he and his theory that in legitimate cases of rape the woman can't get pregnant. up next, republicans probably figured they had the senate seat in ads all wrapped up, but richard carmona has come out of nowhere and coming on strong. now we have a race out there. richard carmona joins us next. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. if we want to improve our schools...
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i'm seema mody with your cnbc market wrap. the dow sliding 110 points, the s&p 500 falling 14. after the closing bell, earning season officially kicked off with alcoa reporting better than expected earnings. shares trading flat. yum brands is also out with earnings that beat expectations. however, revenue was light. the stock up in late trading. that's it from cnbc, first in business worldwide. now, back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." arizona's democratic senate candidate richard carmona has an inspiring biography that's nearly cuss mom made for politics. he dropped out of high school,
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went to vietnam, and became a decorated combat veteran. he got a ged, got a medical degree, and went on to become surgeon general in george w. bush's administration. here is a part of his story in a campaign ad. let's watch. >> from the jungles of vietnam to life-saving rescues at home, rich carmona has always answered the call. in the senate he'll support our veterans because he's lived it. >> now, richard carmona has put the republican held arizona senate seat in play. democrats dearly want to hold on to the majority in the senate and flipping the seat held by jon kyl would make it even harder for republicans to stop them. it would be a powerful symbol of the shift politics in western states. joining me now is richard carmo carmona. it's on honor to have you on the show, sir. how do you handle -- how do you unify your state along ethnic lines between what we call anglos and latinos? how do you make the state feel whole? >> well, it's whole and home for me, chris, because i have been here over a quarter century.
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as you know, working in health care, working along the border, working as a police officer, working as a professor at the university. so the people know me and they consider me one ever their own and they're very proud of me stepping up to serve my country once again. >> because i look at someone like your governor, without going after her too roughly, i just sense that her brand of politics is division. >> yes, chris. there's a lot of division here and it's one of the reasons i decided to step up. you know, all of the democrats and even the moderate republicans that i deal with every single day, they're just fed up with this finger pointing and extremist rhetoric that's out here and it's hurtful and painful and doesn't solve any problems. i believe the people are behind me because they see me as a reasonable person willing to solve their problems. >> let's talk about the tradition of western democrat. i came into politic was frank moss from utah, a very popular guy for about three terms out there even though he's a liberal democrat. and i look at all the western democrats, montoya in the old days, lee metcalf and magnusness and scoop jackson.
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and mike mansfield, of course. there's a long history of democrats in the west. what's happened? can they make a comeback? just moderate democrats from the west, is there something that can be rebuilt there as a tradition without mirroring what goes on back east? >> chris, i really think there is, and i think what's helping us is the most is the extremist rhetoric that's been happening throughout the west. i think people are rejecting that, they're tired of the partisanship, tired of the finger pointing and name game and blame and nobody taking responsibility for the people. i think it's our time now to step up around bring some reasonable people to congress and i think that's why i'm going to be successful. >> well, you've been running an ad that essentially hugs the middle which makes sense saying -- i'm only reading promp ter. saying democrats and republicans are wrong on health care reform. let's watch what you're saying because this couldn't be a trickier position. your position m the middle of health care as a surgeon. >> i see health care as a combat medic, nurse, and trauma surgeon. how it can save lives. but i have also seen it as surgeon general, how politics can get in the way.
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republicans and democrats both got it wrong. we've got to make health care affordable for small business and working families. through innovation and preventative care while also cutting waste and fraud. i'm rich carmona and i approve this message because it's time to tackle tough problems together. >> mr. carmona, just give me a minute, tell me what you did in vietnam. >> i was a u.s. army special forces ned medic and weapons specialist on an a team and i serveds in combat carrying out special prices on behalf of our country. >> so you were in it. >> yes, yes, i was and with a lot of my friends and, you know, it's one of the reasons i'm so passionate about our veterans and making sure that they get the education and training they deserve, that their va benefits are preserved, and that we should be awarding them combat bonuses. congressman flake, of course, has voted down all those things. be there's no higher calling than honoring these young men
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and women who so bravely serve us. right now i'm real displounted in how congressman flake has done that. i won't do that. i will support or veterans and seniors as well as some of the areas congressman flake has moved away from because it's politically convenient for him. >> you know that movie "born of the fourth of july" where everybody cheers him when he goes off to fight but when he comes back dismembered, there's not a lot of bugles playing. they're good at the beginning but not so good when we meet the casualties. >> i think people rally around brave young men and women -- >> i wish they would. >> before i became a senate candidate, i was vice president of department of defense policy board. last year around this time i was down there in the combat zone and trauma centers with these kits, devastated for life. these kids are going to life 50 and 60 more years. we owe them and their families for the rest of their lives and trying to make them whole and
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give them the benefits they've earned because those are not entitlements which is what congressman flake has said. they are not entitlements, these are earned benefits. >> that's part of the 47%, right? >> probably so but, you know, for me i'm keeping focused on the specifics that i will never waiver from supporting our veterans for protecting medicare, protecting social security, to make sure our seniors, again, who have earned those benefits. they've put in every paycheck for 40 or 50 years. we can't pull the rug out from under them now. we owe that to the seniors to make sure they live their lives in comfort and dignity and respect and not have to worry about bankruptcy and not getting health care. >> i have watched people in politics for about 50, 60 years now. all my life i have been watching politics and i like the people who went against the wind, against the tide and they win in races where their state may go the other direction, they go the other direction. this week it's very important to talk about that because joe biden won his first race in 1972, the year that george mcgovern got blown out in 49 states. actually 49 states including his own, south dakota.
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but joe biden won in delaware even as his state was going for nixon and i think if you pull this off, you will be a man to be watched for years and years. thank you very much, richard carmona running for the united states senate in arizona. up next, a new pbs documentary on this race, the 2012 presidential race, explores how mitt romney's mormon faith shapes him as a politician and his ambitions and how romney and obama came back from bruising losses early in their political careers and that's ahead. this is "hardball," the place for politics. mike rowe here at d dealer with a little q&a for fiona. tell me fiona, who's having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee... affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of tires? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. buy four select tires, get a $60 rebate. use the ford service credit credit card, get $60 more. that's up to $120. where did you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer.
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we've got another couple polls for new states not thought of as balle grounds but they're close. in pennsylvania the president is up with just three points over romney, 43%, 40%. in michigan mitt romney's home state, he trails the president by just three there as well, now in a new epic-mra poll, obama, 48%, romney, 45%. we'll be right back. boy, they are close. two years ago, the people of bp made a commitment to the gulf. bp has paid over twenty-three billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america.
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well, a pbs frontline documentary airing tonight is breaking through the talking points to find out what made these two presidential candidates the men they are in the words of their friends, family, enemies, and the reporters who have covered them. let's watch. >> he is a pragmatic business person. he's a guy who likes to take apart a problem and figure out how to get it fixed. >> barack obama is a fascinating mixture of boldness and caution but then once he makes a decision, it's usually the bold one. >> mitt romney has been accused of flip-flopping, but on mormonism he will never flip-flop. >> and yet in politics he has often tried to keep that part of him behind the curtain. >> the backlash against his presidency must be mystifying to him because he genuinely doesn't see himself as a radical. >> well, with us right now is mike o kirk producer of frontline, the choice, 2012. congratulations it will be fabulous to watch this. give us a couple reasons why -- let me put it this way, what do you learn about -- and this is almost inevitable, we don't talk
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raj in this country, we're not comfortable with it, we're a country of tremendous religious diversity and increasingly so, and we don't think it should be in any way used as a test, but what do you think is relevant to the world view of mitt romney in his faith? >> i think there's something sort of fundamental and carefully sort of fundamental and carefully crafted. i think he feels it very deeply, but can't raleigh talk about it. there's a hidden secret that he keeps in very close about it. i think it's altered the way he approaches conversation about many other things that people would like to know about him. >> all religions have that, if you don't mind it, i'm sure i'll offend everybody, with the weirdnesses, whether it's exorcism in my religion. you don't want to run on the issue of exorcism. to be all fair, they all have weird things, right? so what is it that he doesn't want to bring out that might be seen as relevant by voters?
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>> well, i think it's not so much what's seen as relevant by voters, but the way i look at the religion with mitt was i wanted to know what his faith mean to a young boy growing up in the mormon church as opposed to maybe you, chris, growing up in the catholic church. the answers were very interesting to me. some of it has to do with the mission and his mission experience, but a lot of it has to do with the favorite family relation, with nair relationship to their great-grandfather, and that story that i think mitt was very fond of, hearing about how his family fought and came up by their bootstraps from real deprivation and prejudice in mexico. i think it's a story he believed in, loved, but didn't feel he could talk about it, because it's about polygamy. >> let's take a look at the
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documentary. let's watch the way you handled it. >> the romneys had left the united states and went to mexico to avoid persecution, but it's also to pursue polygamy. >> with someone with a name like romney, and you heard about the sufferings of your ancestors and their sacrifices and all they have done, that you feel like, well, it's my turn now, i've got to pick up the baton. >> it's an incredible history. he can't talk about it, because it involves polygamy. if the core of your personal is something that you can't talk about, because it's politically unacceptable, you will not be open with the people around you. >> is it possible in your research to handle something i'm concerned about, that's the view of american -- and the nothing of it, not that you can come to the come and make it your world,
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is there something in that religion along those lines? >> there's a sense from the mormons we talk to that scripture, almost quoting scripture happened at the moment that the constitution was written that america is a -- is sort of a holy land, a places where jesus or god may come back to, that the freedom of this country needs to be protected. that's intense, and very interesting information that mormon scholars will talk about. all we had to do was call them up and ask them and they talk about it. the fact that where mitt falls on that scale, talking about those things is something that a lot of people tell us he's not really comfortable talking about. i suspect it's something that he worries about, talking about for reasons that i don't really know. once you look at it, it makes sense that they believe that. >> he doesn't talk about himself general by, but here both governor romney and president
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obama suffered from bruising elections. let's watch that part. >> the debate was watched by over 3 million people, as many as watched a super bowl in massachusetts. >> romney had these expectations he was going to win up to here, and suddenly kennedy is up to here, romney is here, the race is over. >> bobby rush called him an educated fool, against trying to cast obama as this over-educated half-white guy from hawaii with this multicultural background. he was not one of us. it was a very bruising loss for him. >> you know, michael, i think the most impressive thing about president obama is when he lost their race, got his butt kicked by bobby rush, said i'm going statewide. how many politicians say i got beat locally, i'm going statewide, i'm an african-american, that took something. >> they traveled the state trying to hook together a new
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coalition, emulating in some way mayor's washington victory in chicago with a lot of different kinds of people. that's a big part of his method that took him 30 years or so to perfect, but that was the original idea. yeah, when he losing to rush, he has to reinvent himself again. as usee in the film, he has to reinvent himself in the face of michelle saying i don't want to do this anymore. >> michael, you've sold it, and we're out of time. sorry, you did a great job tonight. "frontline, the choice" airs tonight at pbs from 9:00 to 11:00. i love these documentaries. we'll be right back. dumb luck? or good decisions? ones i've made. ones we've all made. about marriage. children. money. about tomorrow. here's to good decisions.
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let me finish tonight with the real choice in this coming election. one's a democrat, the other is a republican. one, president obama opposed the war in -- the other, romney wants the government to rule against it in every kay. he's the one who wants to regulate people's live. >> one president obama wants the states to decide on

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